Whisky's association with leather armchairs and rooms that smell of rich mahogany isn't entirely unjustified. The spirit has a strong collector culture – perhaps even stronger than wine's – which can sometimes involve vast sums of money.

There are hundreds of outstanding bottles available in bottle shops, but if you want to get your hands on something rarer, it takes serious dedication. You'll need to bid in an auction, or claim the whisky with a deposit before it's even left the barrel.

Or you could show up to one of Sydney's many dedicated whisky bars, which do all this for you. Much easier. Of course, getting the whisky (or "whiskey" if it comes from America or Ireland) is only half the job. All the bars on this list have the service, knowledge and ambience to back it up. Get sipping.

The Baxter Inn

The back bar holds an unbelievable 800 whiskies.

Rear Basement 152-156 Clarence St
Sydney NSW 2000

Tokyo Bird

Make like a salaryman and pair your yakitori with a fine Japanese whisky.

Shop 2 226-228 Commonwealth Street (enter via Belmore Lane)
Surry Hills NSW 2010